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Lost my drone

Ketch

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In flying a long distance flight to a specific point over our ranch, I was manually returning the drone back from it end point full stick back (flying in reverse) rather than the home button. The battery was dying , then said I had 1:30 seconds left, then lost connection, poor gps signal, attempted to sync and ultimately disappeared. I went to the gps point but no drone. My thought is if there was a way to see the “track” of the drone I could continue on the straight line trajectory if I knew or could see the route it was coming from...what I don’t know if when it lost signal, it tried to fly back to a waypoint but either didn’t get there or didn’t have a good gps signal....regardless, what is the experience of how far off that drones have been found in relation to their last gps signal? It is definitely not at that location so I’m at a loss. It is on private land so nobody took it. It is sitting on the ground or tree but I don’t have any idea of a bearing....just spent a couple hours working an expanding circle pattern from the last gps spot....has anyone found theirs 50-100 feet from where it was supposed to be? Thanks.
 

Ridefreak

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You're going to the location indicated in the "Find my Skydio" function right? I've used that a couple times and it was located where the app said it was supposed to be but there wasn't any GPS problems. For me initially it turned out I wasn't looking at the icons correctly in the app. After I used it correctly they led me right to the drone. The small arrow that looks like a north indicator is the drone, here's another indicating the phone's location and the last one was where the phone was at when the signal was lost. I was confusing the icons and spent a tense hour or two looking. I'm considering some bright orange tape on the fuselage, it'd help me pick it out in the sky and find it on the ground. Good luck Ketch.
 

Ketch

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Thanks. I think I am on location. What I don’t and probably never know is what happens when drone looses signal/connection and potentially gps signal at same time when going full speed back towards home(manually). I was manually bringing it back low as there was a crazy wind up above and the high altitude fly back that occurs when you hit home button seemed like a bad idea. Pic launching off a small Mtn and flying down and across a couple of canyons and coming back... in Hindsight I should have just landed it when there was a 1:30 left on battery but I hoped / seemed like it was going to make it ..then all systems seemed to come apart at once...poor connection/gps signal, then lost connection, trying to sync..never syncing back and battery obviously dying. It was a bummer watching the battery go from 23% to zero at a disproportionately fast rate. While trying to bring it back. In the end, 100% user error but still hoping to find it. But I think that is all it is now...just hope as it isn’t directly on the location of last gps ping.
 

skydioconvert

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Reading your account was deja vu for me reminding me of how I lost my first drone (a DJI Phantom 1) many years ago.

The lesson I learned was to ALWAYS plan a return to home route not facing a head wind.

Be sure to keep trying Ridefreaks suggestions being sure to account for how the wind may have affected its return path.

Luck favors those who don't give up .... ?
 

Ridefreak

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I see where that could be a big issue. When I ran mine out of battery is actually lowered to the ground and sat there about 30 seconds hoovering about a foot off the ground. No OA during that time, it eventually clipped a stalk of something and flipped over ruining 2 props. That happened right as I was reaching for it.


It's almost like they try and get it near the ground to give the pilot an opportunity to grab it if possible. I don't think yours dropped out of the sky, there seems to be a process where it goes into a fail safe mode and attempts to land. At the time when I was rushing to grab it the Beacon said "Landing"
 
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Ketch

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Thanks for the insights. I’ll keep gridding it out but it doesn’t appear to be anywhere close to the last gps ping. I emailed Skydio support to see if there was a track but no response. I bit the bullet and orderd another one. It is a great machine. It would be nice if they enabled a track “breadcrumb”. I could see how this could get confusing if the flight was circling a person but for longer mostly straight line runs it would be very helpful...just don’t run out of battery:). I wonder if anyone had flown it till the battery ended in a “safe” environment and saw what happened...
 

SteveCJr

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The drone will stop moving when the connection is lost, rise it's altitude a few yards and then try to return to the phones last known location. It will also try to land itself when the battery is critically low. If there was a poor GPS signal, there's a good chance the location is off. If you know where you were standing and the direction the drone was when the connection was lost, go in that direction.
 

arctair

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It's my understanding that 1:30 could be anywhere from 5 min to three seconds. The immediate landing choice (though why it didn't do this on it's own is odd; possibly because you were still trying to fly it instead of letting it hover?) would have been the way to go (though by now you've realized that I'm sure. This is also just a guess based on several factors, but I'd fly it in a forward direction whenever possible — esp when trying to fly to a specific distant location and not just a quick repositioning.

Do you have another drone you could use to map the area? I'd sure give that a shot before ? and dropping another $1K.

EDIT: Just realized the date of the last post — did you ever find it?
 

JoeydDetroit

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I'm surprised that none of the responses said anything like "That's why you're not s'posed to fly it beyond line of site."
I think the battery died faster than normal because you were flying it against a strong wind.
When ever your battery get's to just above 50% you must return it to the launch point and put on a fresh battery. Even if you had 20 miles radio control range, you still can never go farther than 50% of the battery bc you have to have enough to get back. Like driving your boat out to sea and using more than 1/2 your fuel going OUT away from land. You're guaranteed to run out of fuel before you reach land again... Only you can't call the Coastguard when you're a drone in the sky.

My Skydio would never get lost like that because it's range is only about 250 feet. sadly. I feel like I got pimped on it.

I did let the battery run out deliberately one time to see what it would do. It said the battery was too weak and that it was landing, and it did land right where it was at. of course I was trying to see what it would do if the battery ran out, so I was letting it hover about 8 feet off the ground, not flying it to somewhere so it was already over stable ground, a parking lot, and it was only 3 parking spaces away from me.

Usually when it loses connection, it returns to "home" - launch point. One time when it lost connection it started following some random girl. I had to walk to it to get close enough to reconnect. When I caught up to it, the girl was sitting in a swing and the drone was 20 directly above her head. I reconnected to it and told it to return to launch point. I probably should have explained to the girl that it was an accident and it only followed her her because it's default out of the box design is to follow someone. Every time you 1st power it on it says "Tracking mode" really not cool. It should wait for you to put it in tracking mode. I think the girl got creeped out BC she left the park almost immediately.

Whenever I launch the drone the 1st thing I always do it put it in hover mode to prevent it from following some random car down the road and out of range. While it is s'pose to either stop or return to launch point when it loses connection. The experience with the girl in the park proves there's no guarantee of WTF it will do. If My drone ever decided to follow a random car down the road, well There's $1200 flying down the road that I'll never see again.

In Ketches case it sounds like he was doing everything he could think of to try to lose the drone, from flying beyond the batteries 1/2 way point before trying to return guaranteeing it will have to crash - or emergency land short of the launch point, flying backwards so you have no idea where you are at at any time, flying against heavy winds with no GPS to guarantee it not knowing where it is or where to go and that it will be blown where ever the wind wants to take it.

I had a $50 drone with no GPS. the SLIGHTEST BREEZE would blow it very quickly away in the direction of the wind. I launched it and it immediately started flying very quickly away form my I held BACK FULL Throttle and it kept going farther and farter away toward a highway and a metal scrapyard beyond that.
I dropped power to the throttle. (there is no "landing" function, you just lower the power until it slowly falls where you want it to land) It Looked like it crashed inside the park, I even SAW where it went down, but I never could find it.

I had given up and was starting to write a note to w/e random kids find the controller telling them the drone was "out there in that direction, Good luck." and was going to leave the controller on a bench for kids to find. Then a friend showed up, he walked out in "that direction" and spotted it right off. amazing. I still should have left it for some random kids bc I never even wanted to fly it again after that.

Then I bought a $100 one that is a scaled down clone of a DJI, looks just like a DJI only smaller and does not have GPS. it fights the slight breeze a little better but still gets blown around with the wind.
What I learned, them cheap no GPS having drones ae for indoors only like a gymnasium or an empty warehouse.

I realized I needed to spend real money on a real drone to do what I wanted or even be able to fly it w/o losing it or losing control of it. In that regard my Skydio has NOT disappointed. It tells me if the wind is too strong but still comes back to me so I can land it.
 
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arctair

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I'm surprised that none of the responses said anything like "That's why you're not s'posed to fly it beyond line of site."
I think the battery died faster than normal because you were flying it against a strong wind.
When ever your battery get's to just above 50% you must return it to the launch point and put on a fresh battery. Even if you had 20 miles radio control range, you still can never go farther than 50% of the battery bc you have to have enough to get back. Like driving your boat out to sea and using more than 1/2 your fuel going OUT away from land. You're guaranteed to run out of fuel before you reach land again... Only you can't call the Coastguard when you're a drone in the sky.

My Skydio would never get lost like that because it's range is only about 250 feet. sadly. I feel like I got pimped on it.

I did let the battery run out deliberately one time to see what it would do. It said the battery was too weak and that it was landing, and it did land right where it was at. of course I was trying to see what it would do if the battery ran out, so I was letting it hover about 8 feet off the ground, not flying it to somewhere so it was already over stable ground, a parking lot, and it was only 3 parking spaces away from me.

Usually when it loses connection, it returns to "home" - launch point. One time when it lost connection it started following some random girl. I had to walk to it to get close enough to reconnect. When I caught up to it, the girl was sitting in a swing and the drone was 20 directly above her head. I reconnected to it and told it to return to launch point. I probably should have explained to the girl that it was an accident and it only followed her her because it's default out of the box design is to follow someone. Every time you 1st power it on it says "Tracking mode" really not cool. It should wait for you to put it in tracking mode. I think the girl got creeped out BC she left the park almost immediately.

Whenever I launch the drone the 1st thing I always do it put it in hover mode to prevent it from following some random car down the road and out of range. While it is s'pose to either stop or return to launch point when it loses connection. The experience with the girl in the park proves there's no guarantee of WTF it will do. If My drone ever decided to follow a random car down the road, well There's $1200 flying down the road that I'll never see again.

In Ketches case it sounds like he was doing everything he could think of to try to lose the drone, from flying beyond the batteries 1/2 way point before trying to return guaranteeing it will have to crash - or emergency land short of the launch point, flying backwards so you have no idea where you are at at any time, flying against heavy winds with no GPS to guarantee it not knowing where it is or where to go and that it will be blown where ever the wind wants to take it.

I had a $50 drone with no GPS. the SLIGHTEST BREEZE would blow it very quickly away in the direction of the wind. I launched it and it immediately started flying very quickly away form my I held BACK FULL Throttle and it kept going farther and farter away toward a highway and a metal scrapyard beyond that.
I dropped power to the throttle. (there is no "landing" function, you just lower the power until it slowly falls where you want it to land) It Looked like it crashed inside the park, I even SAW where it went down, but I never could find it.

I had given up and was starting to write a note to w/e random kids find the controller telling them the drone was "out there in that direction, Good luck." and was going to leave the controller on a bench for kids to find. Then a friend showed up, he walked out in "that direction" and spotted it right off. amazing. I still should have left it for some random kids bc I never even wanted to fly it again after that.

Then I bought a $100 one that is a scaled down clone of a DJI, looks just like a DJI only smaller and does not have GPS. it fights the slight breeze a little better but still gets blown around with the wind.
What I learned, them cheap no GPS having drones ae for indoors only like a gymnasium or an empty warehouse.

I realized I needed to spend real money on a real drone to do what I wanted or even be able to fly it w/o losing it or losing control of it. In that regard my Skydio has NOT disappointed. It tells me if the wind is too strong but still comes back to me so I can land it.
In the case of it taking off after a car, I'm sure you could RTH or put it in hover mode soon enough for it to return home, and if you're still just using the iPhone as a controller (which I'm assuming you are with just the 250' range — the Beacon and Controller boost it on paper to something like 1 and 3 miles, respectively), it will return to home automatically as soon as it loses connection to whatever's controlling it (EDIT: I see you mentioned this and the possibility it won't. I still think it would stop and hover at worst.) But I agree: It should start off in hover mode, and not lock on to the first person or car it sees (usually me). It's like it assumes you want immediate selfie action, like if my iPhone always fired up camera mode with the front one.

After talking with a Skydio engineer just this past week (after finding myself in same depleted battery, "we're landing right here, right now" situation, complete with the ominous countdown), turns out all the sensors are shut off outside of a barometer, which I'd guess is to make a rough guess of when it needs to start slowing down ("yellow mode"), which is a balance of too soon (absolutely depleting the battery too soon, i.e. fall from sky time) or too late (similar to falling, but at least it will hit the ground upright if it changed descent speed at the perfect moment — otherwise the battery will die and it gonna fall nonetheless). It may even decide to speed up the descent for a few seconds if you're, say, 350' up at the time, and facing an imminent fall, tries to get it closer to the ground first. (I'm guessing it's smart enough to make these decisions, and in milliseconds), but in all three scenarios, it's not going to be a happy landing.
 

Ridefreak

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I've seen it run out of battery three times. It's obvious that it's got no avoidance at that time because it will come down where ever it is. What I noticed and thought was pretty cool was that it comes down and hoovers about 12" off the ground until the last second then it drops the remaining distance. As long as it doesn't hit anything coming down or land in water I don't see running out of battery as a big risk, or damaging the drone significantly. Two of the times there wasn't anything for it to hit, the landing looked like I had told it to land in that spot. The other time as it was sitting there hoovering it drifted slightly into a bush (right as I was reaching for it) causing it to flip over and damage 2 props but otherwise it was fine. I wouldn't recommend that style of landing but I'm not worried it's going to drop out of the sky due to a low battery.
 

kenmavic2zoom

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when you hand launch the skydio 2 with the camera pointing away from, it will fly off and up and turn around and acquire the person who launched it as the target. that is the way it is supposed to work and that's the way I like it.
 
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JoeydDetroit

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when you hand launch the skydio 2 with the camera pointing away from, it will fly off and up and turn around and acquire the person who launched it as the target. that is the way it is supposed to work and that's the way I like it.

Never tried hand launching. That it wants to know who launched it seems pretty cool. is it going to remember that person distinctly from other people after flying around and coming back to land to it returns to the correct person?
 

kenmavic2zoom

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Never tried hand launching. That it wants to know who launched it seems pretty cool. is it going to remember that person distinctly from other people after flying around and coming back to land to it returns to the correct person?
I don't believe there are any specific hand landing routines or algorithms other than the landing-on-the-logo technique. obviously there is obstacle avoidance, etc but as you know, the drone doesn't specifically recognize an individual or detect someone other than being a person (as opposed to a car).
 

theclarks_2

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This reply is too late to help with this post but I lost my drone recently and was unable to find it using the apps find feature. I was able to get the coordinates from Skydio and the log and found it 100 feet away on the opposite side of the trail. The drone only had to spend 2 nights alone in the forest.
 
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frankbonatelli

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I really think the mag-lock for batteries is a bad engineering idea. Ive lost my drone three times and every time the battery is disconnected from drone after impact. Every single time. Id like to know how the find my drone works if the battery has bounced out on the way down? I'm hoping to try an apple Air air tag before the next crash maybe it'll make the hunt easier.

FYI all! The last loss and recovery i discovered that the Beacon saves low grade video footage of the last few minets of flight and with this was able to put hands on device simplely by playing i back over and over in situe till i found the exact tree it had tangled with. Literally bent down and picked it up, yes battery was disconnected. Was three days later and a rain but the dam thing fly right then and there. This beacon storage knowledge could help other like me that fly only with beacon connected.
 

theclarks_2

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I really think the mag-lock for batteries is a bad engineering idea. Ive lost my drone three times and every time the battery is disconnected from drone after impact. Every single time. Id like to know how the find my drone works if the battery has bounced out on the way down? I'm hoping to try an apple Air air tag before the next crash maybe it'll make the hunt easier.

FYI all! The last loss and recovery i discovered that the Beacon saves low grade video footage of the last few minets of flight and with this was able to put hands on device simplely by playing i back over and over in situe till i found the exact tree it had tangled with. Literally bent down and picked it up, yes battery was disconnected. Was three days later and a rain but the dam thing fly right then and there. This beacon storage knowledge could help other like me that fly only with beacon connected.
Where is that video viewed? Thanks.
 

frankbonatelli

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I connected the beacon to my tablet (I use an iPad mini as my flight screen ) and NOT CONNECTED to the internet, only the beacon. Then I started a send all logs to Skydio session from Skydio's iPad application. During this processes I was able to use the iPad native file browser to copy paste the video from skydio default folders to one of my choosing and saved them there. This last is important because the beacon wipes the files after upload to Skydio.

I discovered this after three days trying to come up with a way to find the dam thing in the mountains. Third day was so easy with video in hand. And why the heck is this not in the manual? . A video capture of the devices last moments of flight was worth knowing about.
 

theclarks_2

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I connected the beacon to my tablet (I use an iPad mini as my flight screen ) and NOT CONNECTED to the internet, only the beacon. Then I started a send all logs to Skydio session from Skydio's iPad application. During this processes I was able to use the iPad native file browser to copy paste the video from skydio default folders to one of my choosing and saved them there. This last is important because the beacon wipes the files after upload to Skydio.

I discovered this after three days trying to come up with a way to find the dam thing in the mountains. Third day was so easy with video in hand. And why the heck is this not in the manual? . A video capture of the devices last moments of flight was worth knowing about.
This is great info! My experience with the Find Me feature is that it’s not accurate at all. I got Coordinates from Skydio (log) and found my drone on the opposite side of the trail and 100 feet from the Find Me feature, a video will be very helpful. (I lost mine on a Thursday and didn't find it until Saturday, but no rain)
 
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skydioconvert

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I connected the beacon to my tablet (I use an iPad mini as my flight screen ) and NOT CONNECTED to the internet, only the beacon. Then I started a send all logs to Skydio session from Skydio's iPad application. During this processes I was able to use the iPad native file browser to copy paste the video from skydio default folders to one of my choosing and saved them there. This last is important because the beacon wipes the files after upload to Skydio.

I discovered this after three days trying to come up with a way to find the dam thing in the mountains. Third day was so easy with video in hand. And why the heck is this not in the manual? . A video capture of the devices last moments of flight was worth knowing about.
Anyone done this with an Android device instead of an iOS device? .... was a video available to copy before upload to Skydio?

Skydio's instructions to upload beacon logs seems to differ between iOs and android devices.
 

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